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Cisco, IBM tackle home video conferencing

The war for consumer telepresence

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Cisco and IBM are expected to introduce home video conferencing services this week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

On Monday, IBM and Polycom said they have expanded their partnership from selling pricey corporate video conferencing wares to introducing new services targeting consumers. The service will rival yet-to-be-announced consumer market telepresence products from Cisco, which are also expected to be unveiled at CES.

By the shape of things, Cisco will likely be the first into the battle. While Cisco is anticipated to show actual products in home teleconferencing, Polycom will arrive at CES with a high-definition telepresence demonstration that's based on IBM's cloud infrastructure.

Polycom said the demoed service will allow consumers across the world to link up in "full-size" 1080p HD from the comfort of their home. The demonstration will be part of a larger IBM Smarter Home showing at the trade event.

Meanwhile, Cisco has been much more tight-lipped about exactly what it will show at CES — although it has been extremely vocal about bolstering its wares in the consumer video market, has plenty of corporate video conferencing offerings, and has the increasingly popular Flip Video camcorders that sport sharing-friendly features. ®

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